Coral reefs of the Mexican Caribbean, an ecosystem in a serious state of degradation


“A series of natural factors and others caused by human activity threaten and disturb coral reefs, which is why today these living organisms face a very serious picture of degradation in the Caribbean Sea”, said Claudia Padilla of the Puerto Morelos Fisheries Research Center (CRIAP) during the Conversation named “Coral cultivation for the restoration of reefs”, organized by the National Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Inapesca).

The researcher spoke of the reproduction of corals for use in the restoration practice from “an aquaculture approach”, which addresses a larger theme benefiting various sectors.

Carbon sequestration in the reef structure begins to gain importance in the context of climate change.
Claudia Padilla pointed out that there are countless threats that damage coral reefs. These threats are due to coastal development, pollution of irregularly discharged waters, nautical accidents that impact the reef barrier, and overuse of the ecosystem, either due to overfishing or nautical activities or those that are not carried out in a sustainable manner.

She added that there are also impacts that occur on a global scale and that operate in synergistic action. These are: those that are defined by climate change that is reflected in the rise of sea level and that affects the reef habitat, a greater frequency of hurricanes and storms, as well as the increase in temperature that causes their bleaching.

“This series of factors threatens and disturbs the reefs and unfortunately today we have a very serious picture of coral reef degradation,” the expert said.

The specialist shows a historical comparison of coral reef coverage, where it cn be seen that only in the 70’s or 80’s there were reefs with coverage of up to 80 percent, however this has shown a decrease and what is expected now is that they have just 10 percent.

In this sense, she indicated that more than 60 percent of the reefs in the Mesoamerican System are in poor condition or in a critical state, which is exactly what is happening to our country’s coral reefs.

Source: CRIAP

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